Being that Oia is perched on the edge of a caldera, there must be some way to get down to the shoreline at the bottom, right? Actually, there are two ways. First, you can walk down approximately 350 steps. Now these are not your ordinary steps. They are approximately 4-5 foot landings that actually take about two or three steps per landing to cross. In other words, it’s a workout. The second way to get down is to go down these same steps, but have a donkey do the legwork while you perch yourself atop its back.
In order to get to the steps, look for signs pointing towards Amoudi. The entrance to the steps is on the southwest corner of Oia. The entrance to the steps are located right by the Mnemossyne Gallery.
Once you find the steps, choose your method of transport – foot or hoof.
We opted for walking, which can be quite a workout on an 80 degree day. (Be sure to pack a couple of bottles of water if you choose to walk.) But that doesn’t mean that we couldn’t stop for a picture with the beasts of burden…
It’s absolutely recommended to take a break along the way if you end up walking. You will want to, anyway, just to take in the views.
When you get to Amoudi, you will find a picturesque little fishing port.
There are several tavernas in the port, which are recommended by TripAdvisor reviews. We did not stop, but apparently Dimitri’s is pretty good.
There is a cool little beach that you can get to by turning left at the bottom of the steps. Now, bear in mind that “beach” in Santorini rarely refers to a nice smooth, sandy beach to lay out on. Santorini is not renowned for its beaches. However, you can still have fun swimming on the island. In order to get to this “beach,” you must scramble across a rocky trail for about a quarter-mile. You will end up at a small rocky enclave where you can dip your feet or jump all the way in. If you are so inclined, there is a small island with rock jumping that is an easy swim from the shore.
Cool off and prepare for the hike back up the caldera’s edge…or just hire a donkey to do your walking for you.